The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

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The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

Post by skyscraper on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:28 pm

The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

This feature is part of 7 Days of Jaworski, InterAKTV’s special tribute to the Living Legend, whose jersey will be retired on Sunday, July 8.

As playing coach of Ginebra, Robert Jaworski was a master motivator and possessed a keen eye for talent. He was responsible for bringing in some of the most memorable imports in PBA history through the years, players who captured the imagination of the Ginebra faithful. In the latest edition of The List, we count down the greatest imports who played under the Big J at Ginebra.

As always, before we get to the actual list, here are some honorable mentions:

Mitchell Wiggins

1994 Commissioner’s Cup

A talented former NBA veteran, Wiggins exemplified the type of import Jaworski loved to bring in at Ginebra. He was banned from the NBA after testing positive for cocaine, and had started a career as a basketball nomad since. He joined a Tondeña team in the 1994 that was short on talent but long on heart. He highlighted his stint with a 78-point game in Ginebra’s July 17, 1994 overtime victory against Sta. Lucia.

Steve Hood

1994 Governors’ Cup

Steve “Robin” Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, helping the struggling Tondeña team finish with a .500 record in the 1994 Governors’ Cup eliminations. The 65ers unfortunately lost a playoff for a semis seat to Shell, but diehards still remember Hood’s sweet-shooting stroke, which he used to drop 67 points on Sta. Lucia on October 16, 1994.

Tommy Davis

1988 Reinforced Conference

The tournament saw the end of Billy Ray Bates’ PBA career, getting cut after four games with Ginebra. In came Tommy Davis, a high-flying, sweet-shooting import who may not have delivered victories, but plenty of highlights.

10. Joe Ward

1988 Reinforced Conference

“Jumping” Joe Ward joined Ginebra midway through the tournament, replacing Kevin Gamble, who would curiously end up with a productive NBA career after being cut in the PBA. He teamed up with Tommy Davis for one of the most explosive import pairings of all time, making Ginebra games a must-see even when the team was out of contention. Ward scored 78 points against Shell and 75 points against San Miguel in a stint that still remains fresh in the memory of Ginebra diehards.

9. Jamie Waller

1988 Open Conference, 1992 Third Conference

Waller made a quick impresison in his first stint with Ginebra, winning the coveted Best Import award despite facing stiff competition from Norman Black of San Miguel and David Thirdkill of Purefoods. He led Ginebra to a late tournament run that ended in a heated semifinal matchup against Thirdkill and Purefoods, a game that saw the crowd pelting the court with coins in the game that gave birth to the rivalry between the two ballclubs that carries on to this day, the rivalry we now call Manila Clasico.

He returned for another stint in 1992, but was quickly replaced by Danny Jones.

8. Henry James

1996 Commissioner’s Cup

A former Cleveland Cavaliers player, James immediately shot the lights out for Ginebra in his very first game, scoring 48 points in a victory over Mobiline. With star rookies Marlou Aquino and Bal David, James helped Ginebra become serious contenders once more, losing a knockout game against Shell for a finals berth in the Commissioner’s Cup.

7. Sylvester Gray

1990 Open Conference

The hulking Sly Gray immediately wreaked havoc on the whole league after joining Añejo, leaving other teams to question whether he fit under the 6-foot-5 height limit of the league. With Gray, who wore a trademark double-zero jersey, Añejo went all the way to the finals, losing to Shell in the most controversial championship series in PBA history. In Game Five, after several calls put Gray in early foul trouble, Jaworski and Añejo decided to walk out of the finals.

6. Wes Matthews

1991 Third Conference

Matthews was a legitimate NBA champion when he came to Ginebra, serving as Magic Johnson’s backup in the Los Angeles Lakers’ title runs in 1987 and 1988. He quickly lived up to his Hollywood credentials, winning the Best Import award and leading Ginebra to the finals, a run which included Matthews’ key defensive stop against Presto in the semis.

The team’s hot streak was foiled by the Alaska Milkmen, led by Sean Chambers and Jojo Lastimosa, in the championship, but by then, Matthews had already cemented his place in Ginebra lore.

5. Carlos Briggs

1989 Reinforced Conference, 1990 Reinforced Conference

A 5-foot-11, red-haired scoring machine of an import, he turned ULTRA into the “Digs of Briggs” in his first stint with Añejo. He averaged a whopping 62.1 points per game over the course of the 1989 Reinforced Conference, when he won Best Import, having memorable showdowns with other exciting imports like Ennis Whatley of San Miguel and Dexter Shouse of Purefoods.

Briggs, who scored a high of 89 points, led Añejo to the finals in 1989, before falling short to the powerhouse Beermen. A year later, the team brought him back for another tour of duty, but the magic seemed to be gone, as he was cut after just three games.

4. Jervis Cole

1991 First Conference, 1992 First Conference

The ultra-athletic 6-foot-5 Jervis Cole was Ginebra’s import when the team made its dramatic comeback from a 3-1 finals deficit against Shell in 1991. People remember Rudy Distrito’s miracle shot, but it was Cole who made the last defensive stop in that game, blocking a shot of Ronnie Magsanoc that could have won it for Shell. Over the last three games of the series, Cole outplayed counterpart Bobby Parks to set up Distrito’s heroics.

Cole returned for another tour of duty in 1992, but a vastly-depleted Ginebra team that lost many key players including Distrito finished last in the tournament.

3. Chris King

1997 Commissioner’s Cup

With NBA veteran Chris King leading the way, Gordon’s Gin broke a six-year title drought for the Ginebra franchise, winning a memorable six-game series versus Alaska, which was immortalized by Gary Granada in the song “Nang Maging Champion Ang Ginebra”.

King scored 36 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and dished off six assists in a memorable double-overtime win against San Miguel for the second finals berth. He led Gordon’s to three straight wins over Alaska in the finals, before a hamstring injury hampered him in the next two games, both Gordon’s losses.

Fortunately, Gordon’s had enough to dispatch Alaska in Game Six to claim the title.

2. Michael Hackett

1985 Reinforced Conference, 1986 Reinforced Conference, 1986 Open Conference, 1987 Open Conference

Hackett, was known as a rebounding demon, but he became the first player in PBA history to hit the century mark in scoring when he put up 103 points against Great Taste on November 21, 1985, a mark that would later be broken by Tony Harris. For his efforts, Hackett was rewarded with the Best Import plum.

He became a resident import for Ginebra, taking on a support role in 1986 Open Conference when he led the franchise to its first title alongside the No. 1 import on the list.

1. Billy Ray Bates

1986 Open Conference, 1987 Reinforced Conference, 1988 Reinforced Conference

In 1986, Jaworski, a former Toyota stalwart, made the surprising choice of tapping Bates, a former Crispa import, to team up with Hackett at Ginebra. It proved to be a great choice, as the Black Superman dominated in the franchise’s first title run.

He returned alone in 1987, putting up 54.9 points per game for Ginebra, which lost a knockout game against Hills Bros. for the final playoff berth that led to a near-riot on the court.

In 1988, Ginebra brought him back again, but by then his nocturnal habits had caught up to him, and Jaworski decided to cut the cord with the Black Superman. Still, he remains No. 1 in the list of most memorable imports in Ginebra history.

Source: Interaksyon
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Re: The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

Post by betterhalf on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:53 pm

maga napanood ko pa dito dati sila gray at briggs..ung iba siguro naabutan ko rin tulad ni jervis cle kaso di ko lang kilala..ang tumatak tlga sa akin si gray at briggs tapos james at king
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Re: The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

Post by MR. FAST on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:57 pm

si chris king lang inabutan ko at henry james

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Re: The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

Post by ian47 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:25 pm

Lahat nyan naabutan ko...Puro magagaling yan.

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Re: The List: Top 10 Imports in Ginebra’s Jaworski Era

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